On October 27, 2017, 140 Phoenix Society members and guests gathered at the University Club in Chicago for the annual Phoenix Society luncheon.

Denise Chan Gans, senior director of gift planning, gave a warm welcome to guests and made announcements before introducing Mary Louise Gorno, MBA’76, University trustee and Phoenix Society chair. Gorno shared some of the Phoenix Society’s successes over the last year, including the addition of 142 new members. Gorno also provided updates on the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, recognizing a few recent transformational gifts from Phoenix Society members that have contributed to the University’s fundraising total of more than $4 billion.

Following lunch, Geoffrey R. Stone, JD’71, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor, presented his lecture, “Free Speech on Campus: The Future of Academic Freedom.” Without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, Stone explained, a university ceases to be a university. Stone provided examples about the challenges universities face from their own students, faculty members, and university administrators, who sometimes forgo free speech or academic freedom to avoid being offended or offending others. Universities that are committed to the core of their missions to educate, Stone asserted, should take important steps to preserve these liberties by supporting an environment that promotes constant intellectual activity from diverse views: the freedom to question, the freedom to challenge, and the freedom to inquire.

Watch the full event.

Read the transcript (PDF).

About Geoffrey R. Stone

Geoffrey R. Stone, JD’71, is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. Stone joined the faculty in 1973 after serving as a law clerk to Supreme Court justice William J. Brennan Jr. He later served as dean of the Law School from 1987 to 1994 and provost of the University of Chicago from 1994 to 2002.

One of the nation’s leading scholars of the First Amendment, Stone has published several books and more than 100 articles in the field of constitutional law. His latest book, Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the 21st Century, published by Liveright in March 2017, explores same-sex couples and their constitutional right to marry. Stone is currently chief editor of the 20-volume series Inalienable Rights, which is being published by Oxford University Press.

Stone served on President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the America Law Institute, the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Philosophical Society. In recent years, he has served as chair of the Board of the American Constitution Society.

Stone earned his bachelor of science from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania and earned his JD from the University of Chicago Law School.